Popetown premiers in NZ

bush bum
BBC’s animated comedy Popetown is set to get its world premier on New Zealand’s C4. The BBC pulled the show last year after complaints from Catholic organisations, although insiders subsequently suggested that the main reason for the cancellation was that it wasn’t actually very funny.

Family Life International are campaigning against it.

Apparently one of the episodes depicts a member of the clergy becoming sexually aroused by animal porn, and another shows the pope painting a picture with his own faeces.

What’s not funny about that?

UPDATE: According to the NZ Herald the Catholic Church in NZ have dubbed the show “too stupid to be offensive.” (Thanks to David P in the comments). That didn’t stop a grand total of two viewers phoning C4 to complain. Some enterprising Catholics have also put up a Stop Popetown website:

Our love for our faith is what calls us to action, and we must continue to show New Zealand that it is not acceptable to mock Catholicism.

Boo hoo.

12 Responses to “Popetown premiers in NZ”

  1. Dan Factor says:

    Obviously just not watching the “offensive” Popetown has not occured to these New Zealand Catholics.

  2. Christopher Shell says:

    Dan, my man-
    What is your position on this? Do you think the off-button is a cure-all? Because if it is, then it must be ok to show anything at all on tv, including cruel, racist, dehumanising things etc etc.. Where do you draw the line?

  3. Sarah says:

    Yes clever Dan,
    Being a New Zealander myself, I find it curious that
    I am offended by pornography, snuff movies etc and yet I do not
    actually watch them, how can this be?!
    I don’t need to watch it to be offended, just knowing it is there
    and portraying Catholicism unjustly is enough!

  4. Andy A says:

    How do you define ‘unjustly’, Sarah? Does there have to be justification for taking the piss out of Catholicism? I can think of plenty of justification for expunging it from all human thought processes if the technology existed, though of course that would be unjust. By all means let it continue between consenting adults in private, where it can arguably do less harm by not having the ear of grubby vote-seeking politicians and sycophantic media who rearrange the front pages and news bulletins if the pope so much as farts. There’s a world of difference between, on the one hand, showing snuff and creating a demand, thereby, for what goes into making it and, on the other hand, ‘offending’ some decidedly kooky people living in luxury in Rome off the backs of hundreds of millions of Catholics, who do not do the poverty-stricken any favours by banning birth control (yes, I know some people have large families anyway) nor people in general any favours, particularly in Africa, by banning condoms, which could save lives – let alone putting it about that HIV can penetrate the rubber, which was an out-and-out, evil lie. So let’s not compare snuff movies to the evil that emanates from the Catholic Church.

  5. David P says:

    Latest from the CatholicChurch in NZ, quite a clever response which C4 will hate. Taken from the NZ Herald News website. “Controversial cartoon Popetown is “pathetic” and “too stupid to be offensive”, says a spokeswoman for the Catholic Church in New Zealand.
    But Catholic Communications director Lyndsay Freer said she “couldn’t take it seriously enough to consider it harmful or offensive”. Despite the show “being too stupid to be offensive”, she could not rule out laying a complaint with the Broadcasting Standards Authority

  6. Christopher Shell says:

    Did I mention that the Philippines and Thailand chose their AIDS-combatting policy around the same time: Thailand’s included condoms and the Philippines’s didnt. Thailand’s AIDS rates are now far and away higher than those in the Philippines, a comparable society in many ways.
    Dont you think that one can’t give a rounded or exhausitve account of the factors involved without realising how crucial is one factor: public perception of how normal/acceptable a thing promiscuity is. I can’t think of any factor which has such a large statistical effect.

  7. Mr Cruise says:

    I cannot understand how anyone can moan about a cartoon which pokes a little fun at such a faith. Considering the history of the Catholic Church, I’d be ashamed to even adhere to such an organisation.

  8. Andy A says:

    OK, Christopher, you are in possession of a statistic I was not aware of regarding Thailand. However, there’s a general acceptance that rubbers will prevent some bugs from being exchanged in body fluids (there’s even controversy over whether HIV actually does cause AIDS, but that’s a big can of worms). It seems reasonable to assume that any barrier to those exchanges of bugs will be a help. Why that statistic happened, I don’t know. I can’t think that the condoms actually increased the transmission, unless they shared the condoms with the chap next door, the youth club and the brass band. My general point of criticism against the Catholic Church stands, I think.

  9. Andrew Nixon says:

    Christopher’s statistic doesn’t quite work. The Phillipines and Thailand are comparable societies in many ways, as he said, but in one way they are not. One of those countries has a huge prostitution industry, with many overseas visitors partaking in this service, which is obviously going to be a major factor in cases of HIV/AIDS.

  10. Christopher Shell says:

    Yes – I believe this dates from the time of the Vietnam war. But which society is fairer game to become a prostitution society in the first instance? (given equal finances & similar social conditions) – one that considers promiscuity normal or one that considers it an aberration?

  11. Joe Colquitt says:

    I watched the first episode of Popetown last week. Hopelessly lame and just plain too silly to be offensive. But I gave the second episode a look, just to give it a chance. Didn’t even last until the end credits. It’s pathetic – didn’t raise a smile at anything, or think anything in the plot was cleverly inventive. Not wasting my time with the rest of the series. I’ve seen Mackenzie Crook (voice/writer/producer) in “The Office” and he’s no comedian. Ironically, as his Office character Gareth would have said, “Er, hello, Pope on a pogo stick, not funny”. You got that right Gareth

  12. Paul says:

    The report above of Father Bush being aroused by animal pornography is totally incorrect, and perhaps reflects more on the minds of those who have lept to that conclusion.

    Father Bush has a fascination for animals. The magazines he browses are nothing more erotic than National Goegraphic. THERE IS NO PORN! of 9 episodes screened so far he has done NOTHING sinful with an animal, other than stealing a monkey from the zoo.
    There is however room for some folk to over-exercise their imagination!